India will expect more runs from the middle order and discipline in the death overs as they seek a series win over New Zealand in the second ODI here on Saturday.
As the city hosts its first-ever international game, more than 60,000 sold-out spectators are expected to cheer for the home side.
After being down at 131 for six, New Zealand were allowed to score another 206 runs in the pursuit of 350 and that should worry India.
The visitors looked like a remarkable victory but Mohammed Siraj’s individual brilliance stopped them.
With the racquet, Shubman Gill, who scored a scintillating double century, had singlehandedly led India to a competitive aggregate finish while the others fell by the wayside. Virat Kohli’s individual performance caught the eye in the previous game against Sri Lanka.
Hardik Pandya, who hasn’t been at his best lately, is expected to put the finishing touches to the innings. Ishan Kishan, settled in midfield after his double-hundred performance in Bangladesh, was keen to make the most of the opportunity after a day off in Hyderabad.
Skipper Rohit Sharma looked and started well but failed to convert and Saturday could be his day.
But bigger concerns lie within the bowling department after bowlers were hidden by Michael Bracewell, who thwarted Wednesday’s Indian attack.
India brought in Shardul Thakur at the expense of the super-fast Umran Malik considering his batting ability. But management must decide quickly whether they want a bowler who can bat or a specialist who can shake opponents with extra pace and take wickets in the middle overs.
Siraj has emerged as an all-stage bowler, but others need to step up. Mohammad Shami was brilliant with the new ball but was brought into the cleaning by Bracewell. Hardik was also expensive.
In the spin department, Washington Sundar had a game to forget while Kuldeep Yadav continued his impressive run. The team also has the opportunity to play Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep together, but has stuck to a wrist spinner and finger spinner policy.
New Zealand’s Never Say Die spirit came to the fore in the series opener and they would take a lot of courage from it. That a number seven in Bracwell and a number eight in Mitchell Santner get the team out of a hopeless situation will not be the norm.
Finn Allen played some bold shots but couldn’t make it big. And in the absence of Kane Williamson, New Zealand needs someone to anchor the innings.
The pace trio of Henry Shipley, Lockie Ferguson and Blair Tickner will be looking for more accuracy after being mercilessly attacked by Gill. It remains to be seen if Ish Sodhi will regain full fitness for his side’s must-win game.
India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KS Bharat (wk), Hardik Pandya (Vice Captain), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav , mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umran Malik.
New Zealand: Tom Latham (Captain), Finn Allen, Doug Bracewell, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner.
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